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The Importance of Punctuality and Why Being On Time Matters

Posted on:February 17, 2023 at 12:00 PM

My medical school internship consisted of several postings under various medical and surgical departments. Shifts in ICU, emergency, and trauma wards rotated every 8/12/24 hours. When the shift changes at 7.30 AM, the next team of doctors takes over. 7.30 AM is not the time you reach for work. You reach 10-15 minutes early and do clinical rounds with the doctors & nurses present in the ward, take handover, and relieve them by 7.30 AM. As an intern, if you came to the ICU at 7.32 AM, you better speak to the chief for your completion certificate. One of the personality traits that is mandatory for internship and beyond in healthcare practice is punctuality.

Why punctuality is important?

Being punctual at work has several advantages.

First, you don’t have to panic about getting late and rushing. You don’t have to speed to work.

Second, it shows that you are organized. You are dependable.

Third, feel that you are in control. You are in control of your morning chores and patterns and not the other way around.

Fourth, it is indeed one of the best traits with which you can display professionalism.

Fifth, be it an interview or the first day at work, punctuality creates one of the best first impressions. Period.

How can I fix my chronic late-coming?

A. Awareness of why it is important for others

By coming late to a meeting, what you have displayed is that you don’t have respect to other people’s time. Being punctual also shows empathy for others.

B. Reminders and alarms

Your smartphone gives you enough tools and apps for productivity and planning. Make use of them!

C. Planning fallacy

This is our tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. Different people have different perceptions of time. Judge if your assessment of the time taken to complete the tasks is correct.

D. Reflection on routines

Review your morning routine. Check which activities are derailing your planning. Keep an extra 15-minute buffer for commuting. Don’t just plan to arrive on time; plan to arrive early.

I tried, but I am coming late for a meeting. What can I do?

It’s okay. Shit happens. There might have been unexpected traffic on the way. The most courteous thing to do is inform. Inform your team/the person waiting for you that you are coming late and apologize.

Punctuality is one of the most important indicators of potential success. By not being punctual, you are undermining your own career and future success.

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